Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Guide

Introduction

    Unholy Death Knights are one of three specializations to bring an increased spell power taken debuff with
    Ebon Plaguebringer
    . They can also bring
    Improved Icy Touch
    depending on their build, and all Death Knights also bring an agility and strength buff with
    Horn of Winter
    .

Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Rotation

    Unholy Death Knights have a true rotation that revolves around maintaining
    Frost Fever
    and
    Blood Plague
    with
    Icy Touch
    and
    Plague Strike
    ,
    Blood Strike
    and
    Blood Boil
    to consume Blood Runes, and casting
    Death and Decay
    as often as possible. There are a bit of nuances like casting
    Summon Gargoyle
    when you have all your procs up like trinkets since it scales with your attack power and haste and maintaining your
    Desolation
    buff, especially in AoE situations.

Opener

  1. Start in
    Unholy Presence
    .
  2. Use
    Raise Dead
    pre-pull.
  3. Use
    Bone Shield
    and
    Ghoul Frenzy
    20 seconds before pull.
  4. Use
    Death and Decay
    10 seconds before pull for Runic Power.
  5. Use
    Horn of Winter
    1 second before the pull. If you are unable to generate Runic Power before the pull, make sure you use
    Horn of Winter
    once you are in combat in order to have enough Runic Power for
    Summon Gargoyle
    .
  6. Pre-pot
    Potion of Speed
    .
  7. Use
    Icy Touch
    .
  8. Use
    Plague Strike
    .
  9. Use
    Blood Strike
    .
  10. Use
    Death and Decay
    .
  11. Use
    Blood Tap
    .
  12. Use
    Ghoul Frenzy
    .
  13. Activate any on-use effects. (Trinkets, racials, etc).
  14. Use
    Summon Gargoyle
    .
  15. Use
    Empower Rune Weapon
    .
  16. Use
    Army of the Dead
    .
  17. Use
    Blood Presence
    .
  18. Use
    Scourge Strike
    if talented, otherwise use
    Icy Touch
    followed by
    Plague Strike
    .
  19. Empty Runic Power with
    Death Coil
    .
  20. Use
    Death and Decay
    .
  21. Use
    Blood Strike
    .
  22. Use
    Scourge Strike
    if talented, otherwise use
    Icy Touch
    followed by
    Plague Strike
    .
  23. Proceed with normal rotation.

Single Target

  1. Use
    Blood Presence
    .
  2. Maintain
    Horn of Winter
    if assigned.
  3. Maintain
    Bone Shield
    . Best to use
    Blood Tap
    right before if you have it available.
  4. Use
    Summon Gargoyle
    .
  5. Use
    Empower Rune Weapon
    .
  6. Use
    Blood Tap
    .

True Rotation

  1. Use
    Death Coil
    if you will cap on Runic Power or have a free GCD.
  2. Use
    Icy Touch
    .
  3. Use
    Plague Strike
    .
  4. Use
    Blood Strike
    .
  5. Use
    Death and Decay
    .
  6. If
    Ghoul Frenzy
    has 10 seconds or less remaining:
  7. Use
    Ghoul Frenzy
    .
  8. Use
    Icy Touch
    .
  9. Use
    Blood Boil
    .
  10. Proceeed to steps 1 - 5.
  11. If
    Ghoul Frenzy
    has more than 10 seconds remaining:
  12. Use
    Scourge Strike
    if talented, otherwise use
    Icy Touch
    followed by
    Plague Strike
    .
  13. Use
    Blood Boil
    .
  14. Proceeed to steps 1 - 5.

AoE

  1. Use
    Death Coil
    if you will cap on Runic Power or have a free GCD.
  2. Use
    Icy Touch
    .
  3. Use
    Plague Strike
    .
  4. As long as you have
    Blood Tap
    available, use
    Blood Strike
    to proc
    Desolation
    .
  5. Use
    Pestilence
    .
  6. Use
    Blood Tap
    .
  7. Use
    Death and Decay
    .
  8. If
    Ghoul Frenzy
    has 10 seconds or less remaining:
  9. Use
    Ghoul Frenzy
    .
  10. Use
    Icy Touch
    .
  11. Use
    Pestilence
    .
  12. Proceeed to steps 1 - 6.
  13. If
    Ghoul Frenzy
    has more than 10 seconds remaining:
  14. Use
    Scourge Strike
    if talented, otherwise use
    Icy Touch
    followed by
    Plague Strike
    .
  15. Use
    Pestilence
    .
  16. Proceeed to steps 1 - 6.

Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Talents

Dual-wield Build

This is a modern Unholy Death Knight build that completely changes the traditional way of playing by adding spells like
Death and Decay
and
Blood Boil
to the single target rotation. You will move points from
Dirge
into
Epidemic
in later content. You can remove a point from
Black Ice R4
and add it to
Scourge Strike
in later content.
0
Blood
0
Frost
0
Unholy

Two-Handed Build

This is the traditional Unholy Death Knight build from original Wrath of the Lich King.
0
Blood
0
Frost
0
Unholy

Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Glyphs

  1. Major:
    Death and DecayDeath and Decay
    ,
    Dark DeathDark Death
    ,
    GhoulGhoul
  2. Minor:
    Blood TapBlood Tap
    ,
    Raise DeadRaise Dead
    ,
    PestilencePestilence

Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Stats

Hit Cap

  • 10% (263 Rating) with
    Heroic Presence
    ,
    Virulence
    , and
    Misery
    or
    Improved Faerie Fire
  • 11% (289 Rating) with
    Virulence
    and
    Misery
    or
    Improved Faerie Fire
  • 13% (342 Rating) with
    Heroic Presence
    and
    Virulence
  • 14% (368 Rating) with
    Virulence

Expertise Cap

  • 132 Rating with
    Mace Specialization
    from Dwarf or
    Axe Specialization
    from Orc, and
    Rage of Rivendare
  • 148 Rating with
    Mace Specialization
    or
    Sword Specialization
    from Human, and
    Rage of Rivendare
  • 173 Rating with
    Rage of Rivendare

Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Best Consumables

Flasks and Elixirs

    Best:
  • Flask of Endless Rage
    Alternatives:
  • Elixir of Mighty Strength
    ,
  • Elixir of Protection

Food

    Best:
  • Dragonfin Filet
    Alternatives:
  • Snapper Extreme
    ,
  • Worg Tartare
    ,
  • Rhinolicious Wormsteak

Potions

    Best:
  • Potion of Speed
    Alternatives:
  • Indestructible Potion

Miscellaneous

    Best:
  • Spiced Mammoth Treats

Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Best Races

Alliance

  1. Human:
    Sword Specialization
    and
    Mace Specialization
  2. Dwarf:
    Mace Specialization
  3. Draenei:
    Heroic Presence

Horde

  1. Troll:
    Berserking
  2. Orc:
    Axe Specialization
    and
    Blood Fury
  3. Blood Elf:
    Arcane Torrent

Wrath Classic (WOTLK) Unholy Death Knight Best Professions

  1. Engineering: Best profession thanks to
    Nitro Boosts
    ,
    Hyperspeed Accelerators
    ,
    Flexweave Underlay
    enchants,
    Global Thermal Sapper Charge
    , and
    Charged Titanium Specs
    for early gearing.
  2. Jewelcrafting: Second best profession thanks to the 3 unique gems such as
    Bold Dragon's Eye
    and
    Rigid Dragon's Eye
    .
  3. Blacksmithing: Third best profession during phases 3+ thanks to
    Socket Bracer
    and
    Socket Gloves
    .
  4. Leatherworking, Tailoring, Enchanting, Inscription, and Alchemy: All provide comparable stat bonuses with
    Fur Lining - Attack Power
    ,
    Swordguard Embroidery
    ,
    Ring - Assault
    ,
    Master's Inscription of the Axe
    , and
    Mixology
    respectively.
  5. Skinning:
    Master of Anatomy
    .